Tough Bacon



  • I smoked bacon today after curing it for five days. The taste was great. One problem is it’s tough. I tried following the directions hour by hour, but a couple times I wasn’t watching the temperature and it was off about 15 degrees too high. I tried to compensate for the next time period. I couldn’t find my thermometer, so I didn’t know what the final temperature was. Do you have any comments? that might help next time. As I said the taste is great just tough


  • Walton's Employee

    @bob-s-meatgistics Without knowing what temperature it was cooked to it is hard to tell but my first thought (and the most likely culprit) is that it was cooked well past 132° initially. Since Bacon is going to be pan-fried or cooked in the oven you don’t want to cook it much above 132° initially or it will be tough in subsequent cookings. Even the difference of 145 to 132 could give you very different results.

    Another possible issue is depending on where you purchased the belly from it might still have had the skin on it, a good way to tell is if it still has easily visible teats then the skin is still on and needs to be removed.

    You will definitely want to have a good thermometer at hand in the future, a probe thermometer like the Grilleye or the Grilleye Pro Plus will work well.



  • @bob-s-meatgistics Did you slice the bacon across the grain or with the grain? If you sliced with the grain your bacon will be very tough.



  • I really dont think the temp had anything to do with it. I do about 200lbs of bacon a year and I smoke cook mine till I get an internal temp of 155 and then shut it down and let them hang in the smoker for 30 min after and my finish temp is at about 158-160. Mine always turns out tender.

    I would say it wasn’t the best of pork that was sold.


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